Japan PM decides finance official accused of sexual harassment must be sacked: paper

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Thomson Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided that a top finance ministry bureaucrat accused of sexually harassing several female reporters must be fired, the daily Sankei newspaper reported on Monday.

It did not cite a source for its report.

The weekly Shincho reported last week that Administrative Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda went drinking with a female reporter recently at a bar near his house and asked to touch her breasts and kiss her. The magazine quoted Fukuda as denying the allegations.

Asked by reporters on Monday to comment on the allegations, Fukuda said: "I will issue a comment today so please look at that." He did not elaborate.

Finance Minister Taro Aso told a parliamentary panel last week that Fukuda had spoken to him about the matter.

Fukuda said he met many people in a private capacity and it was not possible to verify every interaction but that he would be careful not to "be misunderstood" from now on, Aso said.

(Reporting by Takashi Umekawa and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Richard Pullin and Michael Perry)

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